Erenlai - June LEE (李禮君)
June LEE (李禮君)

June LEE (李禮君)

Former Managing Editor of Renlai Monthly (2004-2009). Board member of the Taipei Ricci Institute.

Thursday, 11 February 2010 13:17

New Year as a time for self-reflection

Li-chun highlights some absurdities generated by the conflict between tradition and modernity, between one's duty and one's desires.

Wednesday, 02 December 2009 00:00

眺望未來的百年思索:洪山川總主教專訪

從紮根本土到放眼世界,從傳播福音到與其他宗教對話。
天主教在台灣以滴水穿石的方式,讓影響力滲透到每個角落。
在慶祝天主教來台150周年的同時,身為台灣天主教會的大家長,
洪山川總主教對這間百年老店有什麼樣的省思與期許?

150年:回顧與展望
回顧這150年,我們可以說沒有外籍傳教士的派遣,就沒有台灣的傳教事業。不過如果從教會派遣的角度來看,可以發現天主教與基督教的情況還是不太一樣。在基督教方面,許多教派已培養出大量本土神職人員;反觀天主教,外籍人士仍占神職人員人數的一半。

當然,這不表示天主教對台灣社會的影響力比較小。比方說十一月初第63期的《天主教周報》裡,就報導了善牧基金會的湯靜蓮修女和單國璽樞機主教獲頒總統文化獎的消息。我們可以看到,湯修女的基金會從二十多年前就開始關懷台灣社會:善牧的工作重心從最初關注原住民雛妓,到現在照顧家暴婦女與協助外籍新娘,數十年來因應本地社會的發展,不斷改變工作地點與性質。其實台灣的社會服務事業裡,天主教機構就占了一半的版圖,像是我們有五十幾所學校和十幾所醫院,這都是天主教會對台灣的貢獻。回到傳教事業來談,我們的成長率仍然遠比不上基督教。同樣從事社會事業,基督教的社工便十分強調自己的信仰,天主教則是重視個人自由,兩邊的思維和作法完全不一樣。

這樣看起來,感覺台灣天主教會在宣教方面好像比較被動。加上我們目前推動宗教對談、尊重別人信仰,不僅聯合其他宗教共同尋找天主,還主張只要人能按照良心做事,沒有信仰都可以得救——這都是幾十年前梵蒂岡第二次大公會議文獻裡提過的論點——這些都讓教友人數不易增加。雖說這兩年天主教會在領洗人數上頗有進展,每個教堂都動起來,大家也很努力,但在傳教上,我們做得還是不夠。因此這150周年紀念對我來說,是用來激勵自己的。你可以追溯天主教在台灣150年的歷史,緬懷外籍神職人員如何不辭辛苦,來到這塊土地奉獻犧牲;可是我們能效法他們,派自己的人到國外去傳福音嗎?說實在話,我們派得太少,總覺得人家來這裡是應該,自己好像長不大的孩子一般。今年,我們總算派遣一位台藉神父去英國服務。雖然台灣也缺少神職人員,但我認為還是要繼續派遣下去。

遇到這個值得紀念的時刻,我們應該好好思索:這麼多年來,天主教會到底在台灣做了些什麼?現在要做的事、要加強的地方有哪些?未來又能做些什麼?如果不能好好思考這些事,慶祝150周年不過就是勞師動眾罷了。


廣度有餘,深度不足
那麼,天主教在台灣這麼久,本土化的情況究竟如何?

關於這點,可以試著從商業的角度來解釋:假使今天有個全球性大企業要把產品送到台灣,它當然要考慮本地人的需求。舉例來說,我最近迷上大型摩托車,這種機車比較適合外國人的高大身材,但台灣人會修改設計,讓它在人體工學上更符合我們的需要。還有像歐洲進口的房車,也會因應台灣潮濕的氣候加強板金防鏽。一個公司在進攻地方市場時,必定要做好消費者調查,並不時檢討自己的經營方針和策略在當地是否合用;可是公司最大的還是老闆,老闆會有自己的原則。

回到天主教會本土化的問題,首先,我們可以看到很多充滿本土特色的教堂。這種教堂在裝飾上跟寺廟壁畫很像,但只是外觀類似,功能卻不及寺廟來得多。在台灣,寺廟是地方百姓集結活動的場所,也是生活的中心,這些功能教會無法取代。以前天主教在傳教時,並沒有把目標放在村長或鄉長這類地方領導人身上,因為他們多半身兼當地的宗教領袖,如廟祝或是寺廟的主任委員。你要他不去廟裡拜拜,那是不可能的;可若是去了,又會被視為崇拜邪神。所以他沒有辦法信仰天主,一旦信了就無法在地方生存。這也是早期台灣天主教信仰一直無法深入本土社群、融入在地文化的重要原因之一。




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Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:17

Northern Taiwan: a Virtual Metropolitan Region

The geographical area of Northern Taiwan groups together ten millions people on a surface of 9,000 km2. As a comparison, the Greater Shanghai area comprises 18 millions people on 6,300 km2, the Tokyo metropolitan area accounts for 12 millions people living on 2,200 km2, while Seoul and Hong Kong have to deal with even greater densities for populations of respectively 6 millions and 11 millions people.

Thus, though more rural and extended than its regional counterparts, Northern Taiwan can compete in the league of the greater Metropolitan areas of East Asia – or even of the world (the metropolitan regions of London, Paris and Milan comprise between 14 and 8 millions people.) The problem is: northern Taiwan is divided into eight cities and counties — Taipei City, Taipei County, Keelung City, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Yilan County and Miaoli County. Till now, political bickering and local rivalries have made it hard to group together and create a unified metropolitan region. The redrawing of the political map of Taiwan is on the agenda. Amendments to the Local Government Act passed by the Legislative Yuan in April 2009 pave the way for a reorganization of Taiwan’ system into 3 metropolitan areas and fifteen counties. Still, the law remains unclear, initiative is supposed to come from local government, with financial incentives provided by the central State, and devolution of powers are not part of the envisioned changes.

Creating metropolitan regions has obvious advantages when it comes to international promotion, planning of transportation system or waste management. Still, governance of such giant regions is never an easy matter, and local identities and memories often oppose mergers, seen as more bureaucratic than truly beneficial to grassroots communities. In the case of Northern Taiwan, another obstacle is to be taken into consideration: the merger of the eight administrative units would create a region comprising almost half of the population of the whole country, thus creating an imbalance harmful to the national equilibrium.
Taiwan still suffers from an outdated administrative system. Reform and mergers are a key for enhancing the country’s global competitiveness. However, determining the optimal size, frontiers and competences of local governments remains an issue that is far from being settled.


Friday, 20 February 2009 20:48

Language, a tool for freedom

Renlai and Taipei county government have started a cooperation so as to reflect together on the local implementation of global challenges: water management; sustainable farming; ecotourism; integration of migrants within the community; lowering carbon emissions... In the Chinese issue of Renlai (and on the companion Chinese pages of this website) the topic treated in March is "language education", be it education to mother tongue or foreign language education. County governments in Taiwan are in charge of primary education. In Taipei county, new textbooks have been recently edited, aimed at developing children’s reading and thinking abilities. An opportunity for pondering anew the rationale behind language education.

Studying one’s mother tongue and learning other languages are interdependent experiences: it is only if you know your own language well that you can enter into the intricacies of a foreign language. And, reciprocally, studying a foreign language gives you a distance vis-à-vis your mother tongue that helps you to appreciate and understand it into a new light.

Actually, learning languages is what makes you able to learn all other disciplines. What is even more important, it is by learning languages that you are able to understand yourself, to understand the others, to develop your freedom and creativity, and to work fruitfully with others. Let us take these four dimensions one after another:

-Understanding yourself: learning a language will provide you with words through which you are able to express your identity, your true feelings, to channel your self and thus to understand it. It is by saying whom you are that you truly understand who is this “I’ who is speaking. Furthermore, by connecting you with your cultural past, by understanding how your mother tongue is connected with a cultural history, with a world vision, you understand yourself as being in solidarity with a history and a community - even if you use this language for challenging the values that are the ones of this community. Also, mastering a language amounts to know the words that describes all the facets of feelings, miseries and desires in the human soul, and thus to know better one’s own “light” and “darkness”, thus being able maybe to accept whom we are, with our contradictions.

-Understanding the others: listening what the others say in your own tongue, being able to discern in the words they use the subtleties of their feelings and thoughts is already a way of understanding Otherness. Of course, this becomes even truer when you learn foreign languages: you learn not to take for granted values and categories that seem to be “basic’ in your own language, you learn to see the world through another prism so to speak.

-Developing your creativity: words and syntax are the tools we use for conceiving and expressing new ideas. Mastering languages helps you to find newness by creatively assembling these tools. Furthermore, educating a child to adequately express what he thinks throughout the study of language amounts to educate him to freedom of thought and creative thinking. Once can say that teaching a language to someone (when you do not nourish him only with proverbs and stock sentences) is to educate him to freedom: he is able afterwards to think and say whatever he wants in this language!

-And finally, if you understand quite well who you are, if you are able to understand the others, and if you are able to think freely and creatively, then you are also truly able to work and invent within a group. Language remains the basic tool that helps a human community to stand together, to communicate, to debate, and, ultimately, by creating and progressing, to perpetually re-invent itself.
So, when teaching a child his or her mother tongue and foreign languages you are doing much, much more than preparing him to succeed in exams. You are providing him with the tools that are necessary for being truly human. He will do whatever he wants with the formidable tools you are equipping him with – for language is a weapon that can be used for the best and the worst. But, by showing him that language is meant for freedom and creativity, you can bet that he will more and more understand and gratefully appreciate the wonderful gift that is thus given to him.
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 00:00

The "Blackboard Revolution"

Sixteen years ago, Chang Shu-mei came to teach at Wu Lai Middle School. She already had 13 years of teaching experience before that. She had high expectations when she first came in the mountains, but after a year, she began to doubt of herself. The educational method which evaluated grades by written examination just put a bored grin on aborigine children’s faces. As the teachers had to finish the programs in a certain time, she had no choice but to “accelerate” the speed of teaching. But the children could no longer understand anything at all. This situation got worse and worse. So Shu-mei thought: “Have I done something wrong? Where did I go wrong?” The confidence built by long experience of teaching had disappeared in a minute.

At that time, she met Professor Guo Jing-zi, who had just come out of the research lab of the special education department. After she consulted Professor Guo, she knew how to change the teaching method. Her “Blackboard Revolution” started. Shu-mei had changed her way of teaching and designed various teaching materials made to meet aborigine children’s needs.
The atmosphere in the classroom has changed; children have started to get more concentrated. During math class, which was the toughest before, the math formulae are not “spoken” anymore from the teacher’s mouth, instead they “grew” from a big tree on the blackboard. And all the other courses, including Chinese and English, are also taught in a different way.

Wu Lai is the only aboriginal town in Taipei County; National Wu Lai Elementary and Middle School is located on the intersection of Nan Shi brook and A Yu brook. Tayal Children (coming from the five main villages in the town— Zhong Zhi, Wu Lai, Xiao Yi, Xin Xian, and Fu Shan Village.) represent 80 percent of the students. In order to make them understand their own culture, to recognize the importance of their cultural inheritance and to participate in the development of Tayal tribes in Wu Lai, Shu-mei has also asked the adults to teach their skills of knitting. She encourages the students to participate in traditional rituals and ceremonies, and has asked the elderly to take part in native language education. She also takes her students to visit bamboo forest, to explore the sources of hot spring water, to visit the workshops of knitting, forest management spots, and hot spring hotels in Wu Lai …

Tuesday, 09 September 2008 00:00

Happy Birthday to KPS!

PDF version of the article
* * *
In 1958, the Jesuits established a small audio studio in Taichung and started to produce short radio programs and dramas that were broadcasted all around Taiwan. In 1960, the studio moved to Taipei. By the mid-sixties, Kuangchi Program Service, as it was named, had also ventured into the field of television, first by producing educational programs, later by launching drama series. From that time on, the "KPS" brand became an integral part of the history of Taiwan’s media industry.

The road traveled by KPS was sometimes bumpy: it required much courage to be the first to produce drama series in Taiwanese; the collaboration with TV stations and the search for an economic model were not all rosy; most importantly, the dramatic shift in the media landscape that took place in the mid eighties have challenged the relevance and working habits of KPS.

KPS might no longer be the "household name" that it used to be during the seventies and the beginning of the eighties, however, it continues to produce first-rate educational and social educational programs; it collaborates with Chinese TV stations on program series relating the life of early missionaries and Chinese Christians; it plays the role of a consultant in many poor countries of East Asia and Oceania that are trying to develop independent, quality, community-based media outlets (community radio stations, websites, music CD and DVD production units, etc.). It uses state-of-the-art digitalized studios in Taiwan and collaborates with a number of channels. It is now experimenting with Internet TV.

Above all, KPS has formed a vast number of media producers, journalists, cameramen, script writers and directors in Taiwan, giving them an ethical, professional and international outlook. The history of Taiwanese media during the last fifty years cannot be separated from the history of KPS. By celebrating the 50th anniversary of KPS, this special issue of Renlai is also recounting a broader story, and reflecting on the challenges that the media industry faces in Taiwan today.

May KPS continue to be a beacon of quality programming, insisting on spiritual values, attending to the needs of marginal sectors of society, offering educational opportunities to all. May it continue to be a sign of hope in an often discouraging media environment, while achieving technological and commercial breakthroughs that will make it, once again, a leader in the Taiwanese media landscape. Such are the wishes we offer to a company which, at 50, remains as young and energetic as ever!
PDF version of the article

Attached media :

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Friday, 29 August 2008 02:08

Local Development and International Tensions

Global warming is not only a ‘hot” topic, it is also a “hotly debated” one… Emerging countries accuse the Western countries of having been, by far, the largest producers of greenhouse gases for the last century and half, of remaining the biggest emitters per capita, and of protecting their lifestyle while pretending to prohibit to others fair access to the same standards. However, years of discussions and the drafting of international mechanisms have improved the terms of debate and mutual understanding. While the agreement reached between emerging countries and the G8 group at the meeting held in Japan in July remains vague and unsatisfactory, however its overall phrasing augur well for the conclusion, circa 2010, of an international agreement that will follow the Kyoto Protocol. That protocol was itself an annex to the conclusions of the Convention on Climate Change adopted at the "Earth Summit" in Rio in 1992.

At the same time, the challenge of climate change alters our global culture, the perception of our belonging to a single human community. Climate change increases both the chance to see the emergence of a true international society and the risk of further harden the "clash of civilizations." Such risk is linked to the transfer or depletion of resources related to climate change, with potential conflicts over access to water or fertile territories, accompanied perhaps by the migration of "environmental refugees." In such a context, resentment related to history, religions, conflicts of identity will take on increased importance. In summary, global warming radicalizes the issues of coexistence among cultures and nations.

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Friday, 28 March 2008 03:00

After Taiwan's Elections

Ma Ying-jeou has received a strong mandate. On May 20, when he officially becomes Taiwan’s President, he will be able to rely on the tow-third and plus KMT majority at the Legislative Yuan and the support of a vast majority of local governments. What is his strength might also become his weakness.

Taiwan’s citizens have elected him for giving a new impulse to economic and social policies. They hope that better relationships with the Mainland will translate into economic benefits. At the same time, their vote can in no way be understood as a wish to alienate the political status-quo or a return to old-style KMT policies. The centrist image on which Ma Ying-jeou has been elected will have to pass the test of time and events, sometimes against the party on which he relies. This will prove to be a perilous exercise in equilibrium.

Ma Ying-jeou will have to come up with a government of young, moderate and capable people, signaling the entry into a new era. The government will have to be a factor of reconciliation, building on some of the cultural policies conducted by the former coalition while going beyond ethnic rivalries and gathering energies around a renewed economic and social model.

Such model cannot be solely directed towards economic growth. It has to include the building-up of real local democracy (the weak point in Taiwan’s present political system), sustainability and social cohesiveness. The campaign has been poor in content on these issues, and it is to be hoped that they will not be overlooked.

In other words, Ma Ying-jeou’s challenges go beyond the way he will deal with China. His capacity to renew and consolidate Taiwan’s self perception of its society, culture and cohesion might be the real test of its leadership ability.

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Thursday, 14 December 2006 02:17

Internet and Asia’s “We” generation

Newsweek, in a recent issue, has coined the term “We” generation for describing how part of the Asia youth now involves itself into public action, NGOs or charities, rather than putting all its effort in making money. Environment, humanitarian crises, as well as help to children and to marginalized communities are fields in which much creativity and generosity are displayed, be it in Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal or even China, among other countries.

The phenomenon should not be exaggerated. The “We” generation is still muddling, and not yet through. Activists are a minority. Consumerism, individualism and materialism remain the dominant values, not only in Asia but throughout the world. However, there might be indeed a shift happening from the private realm to the public one, a new sense of belonging and of collective responsibility. If this is confirmed, this is indeed very good news.

Two features are specific to Asia’s “We” generation:
- The first one is its pragmatism. Causes and project are selected not out of a predetermined ideological outlook but rather from a sense of urgency, contacts with friends or sheer spirit of discovery. Such pragmatism also means that young Asian activists are better equipped than their predecessors for making sense and sensibility part of the same equation – to be generous is not enough, you’ve got to be reflexive; and to be reflexive is not of much use if you are not able to mobilize our generosity and your capacity to act.
- The second characteristic lies in the way networking happens through the use of Internet tools. Internet is not only about escapism and the search for a “second life”, it is also about linking together groups working within the real world into a virtual community. Such community of thinkers and activists feels empowered by the sharing of stories and experiences that enables it to go from the local to the global, from the global to the local, in an ongoing sharing that gives more dimension and impact to the grassroots projects that the participants are involved into.

This is the surge of such a spirit that eRenlai tries to foster and exemplify. While building eRenlai, its promoters have been focusing on the new social and cultural trends that shape Asia’s youth involvement into the debates and actions of today. The interchange between the youth of China and Taiwan and the one of other countries is crucial for asserting the role that the Chinese world will play in mapping humane development, better governance and sustainability at the global level. May eRenlai play its own modest role in this giant endeavor.

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Friday, 29 February 2008 18:18

Air-conditioned Democracy

The debate between Ma Yin-jeou and Hsieh Chang-ting on the Taiwanese TV channels, held February 24, was a non-event. Not only because we did not learn anything new about the program of the two candidates or their personalities, but also because of the format of the debate itself: twenty citizens had videotaped their questions, aired during the debate, and the candidates were informed in advance of the content of these questions. Therefore, it was more like an exam in which cheating is allowed…

We meet here with a paradox: allowing (carefully selected) citizens to air their views and concerns might look like an exercise in direct participation, making the debate more grassroots. And this is partly true, as questions on the environment, the judicial system and other everyday issues were prominent. However, this kind of “YouTube democracy" is obviously very artificial, bordering on manipulation. No surprise is to be expected, there are no experienced journalists for testing the candidates’ reactions - and carefully scripted answers do not teach much to the audience.

A democratic debate is to be based on surprise, direct contact, inventiveness... it does not have to be an exercise in memory power, but rather on character strength and imagination. Indeed, we are not only testing programs, but inner character and capacity for reaction and judgment as well. In that respect, one has to recognize that the American primaries do fulfill such a role – at least they do so this year…

Gadgets such as videotaped questions are not vital to democracy. Actually, nothing would be more dangerous than to go towards a kind of “virtualization” of the democratic process. We need to directly relate to our candidates and to assess them as real men and women whom we can or can’t trust. So far, the presidential campaign in Taiwan has failed the test: media reporting was not helpful. Debates have proven to be even less so.


Sunday, 27 August 2006 19:45

Wisdom for Today

What is wisdom? The answer might partly differ according to times, religions and cultures. But there is a core understanding of what wisdom means for humankind. Wisdom is a capacity to act in a way that respects and develops one’s nature without harming oneself nor the other. Wisdom is not a theoretical body of knowledge; it is a practice as well as a meditation on this practice. It is a set of principles and attitudes that helps one to be fully human and to live one’s life with inner peace and rectitude.

Human wisdom has been expressed in many ways throughout the ages. However, a specific moment has had a particular significance: Indian, Greek, Chinese and Jewish cultures all developed a remarkable body of texts and practices on wisdom around 2,500 years ago. This period was a turning point for all humankind. Since then, the writings and examples of the Great Sages have influenced the course of human history.

We might be at another turning point: scientific and technological developments, the acceleration of human history, the coming of globalization raise serious challenges for traditional wisdoms. They may have been relevant for traditional, agrarian societies, but do Confucius, Laozi, Socrates or the author of the Bible’s “Book of Wisdom’ have something to tell us today? We still want to live a meaningful, peaceful and humane life, but where are we going to find our inspiration and references? Are ancient examples and principles outdated, or do they just need to be understood in a new light?

The quest for wisdom is at the same time personal and collective. E-Renlai wishes its readers to find their own road towards greater wisdom…


Tuesday, 27 March 2007 00:00

聆聽天主子民的聲音

【一】
蘇耀焜(53歲,基隆人,任職於國營企業)
我現在祈禱,只會祈求天主賜我內心平安,
讓我懂得付出、懂得珍惜,不會祈求升官發財。

我是在前年(2005年)聖誕節領洗的。我會成為教友,主要是受到我太太的影響。
童年時期,我對基督宗教的印象很粗淺,印象中,基督徒家庭的孩子好像都比較守規矩、和善,而且乾
乾淨淨的。大學時代,跟著女朋友(現在的太太)一起去望彌撒時,感覺時間好長,半個小時就坐不住了,大概因為那時沒有投入吧!

為什麼會成為天主教徒?

年過五十,也算是人生的轉折點,自己不禁會想:我對這個社會能有什麼回饋?認識教會的朋友之後,我覺得教會的人都很善良、願意付出、有奉獻的心,和我在「外面」看到的一般人不同,這對我影響很大。我也會把這種價值觀帶到職場中,我常勸新進的同事:自己要做得正、要學習付出,不要老是斤斤計較,計較加班、計較薪水…什麼都愛計較。

您認為,天主教和其他宗教有何不同?

我是基隆人,從小接觸到的民間信仰不外乎「神明保庇好人」、「不能做壞事」之類的勸言。感覺上,大家拜神明無非就是求得護佑,所謂「有拜有保庇」。例如我的阿嬤,不管我要做什麼重要的事,例如考試、當兵,她都會先抓我去廟裡拜拜,就是求個心安。
現在想來,民間宗教的信眾好像都在向神明「要」些什麼:要升官、要發財。天主教徒卻常常想,如何才能多付出一點、多貢獻一點。我現在向天主祈禱,只會祈求天主賜我內心平安,讓我懂得付出、懂得珍惜,不會祈求升官發財。
在我童年的印象中,老一輩的人禁止我們接觸基督宗教,他們怕小孩子去了教會,長大後不會孝敬他們,當然他們的想法是錯的。我們有了信仰,反而會更懂得照顧長輩。

您認為,天主教人數無法增加的原因為何?


在傳教方面,我覺得天主教似乎太注重禮儀的傳統,比較受限。我認為應該花更多心思,讓彌撒和道理更加平易近人、融入社會,讓現代人能夠了解。
記憶中,民間信仰的節慶氣氛都充滿歡樂,像是迎媽祖、七月半…大家總是很期待。「節慶」就是生活的一部分。可是不知為什麼,我們的教堂裡就是少了一分歡樂的氣氛,很少看到年輕的面孔,教堂也總是大門深鎖。看看民間的廟宇,我們何時看過它關上大門?總之,如果我們能使上教堂成為大家每個禮拜所期待的事,就像小孩子盼望過年一樣,那我們就成功了!

【二】

吳蘭英(62歲,花蓮豐濱人,阿美族)
生活中的困難很多,
有時我想到不愉快的事情,就依靠天主。

請問您當年如何成為天主教徒?

我是十六歲領洗的。當我還是小孩子,村子裡已經有天主教了,那時是顧向前神父在我們村子裡傳教,他還編了一本《阿美語-漢語字典》,還有阿美族的彌撒經本。
我小時候常去天主教會。那時,想要領洗要先背「要理問答」,還要「口試」,很難!我第一次沒通過,神父說:「妳要加油,明天再來。」他好像故意考驗我喔(笑)!後來那天晚上我都睡不著,還做了一個夢,夢到穿白衣服的耶穌,長得跟教堂的耶穌很像囁!那時我想,耶穌都到我夢裡來了,怎麼我還考不上?第二次我再去考,好緊張喔!頭都昏了…後來神父說我通過了,可以領洗了,我好高興喔!很安心啦!沒有領洗好像心裡就沒辦法安心。我們那時聽了道理,就覺得耶穌在我們心裡,在照顧我們…

成為教友這麼困難,為什麼還是想領洗?

因為我很喜歡去教會,我們年輕人在教會一起打籃球、跳舞、參加活動…我不喜歡待在家裡,因為爸媽一直要我們工作,放牛啊、種田啊…那時候很苦,很窮啊!連國中也沒有去讀。神父會教我們天主的道理,還教我們用羅馬字讀阿美語!

您的家人也是教友嗎?

我領洗之後的幾年,我跟媽媽、姐姐們說:妳們也應該去教會,不然妳們要信什麼呢?後來我媽媽、姐姐們也跟著我領洗了。我先生是瀋陽人,已經過世很多年了,他雖然不是教友,可是他不反對我去教會。後來,我一直鼓勵他領洗,請修女到家裡來講道理,他說:「很好啊,我以後會領洗啦!」可是還是拖了很多年,直到後來他生病,才領洗了。

您何時移居台北?在台北,您如何參與教會活動?

我十九歲時,自己跑到台北來找工作。是偷跑的囁!
自從來到台北,我就是一直去南港成德堂望彌撒,那時已經有原住民團體,有住在南港的,也有住在汐止、內湖的,其中很多是我們家鄉豐濱來的,也有從光復鄉來的。彌撒後我們都會練歌,每個禮拜三晚上,我們輪流到不同人的家一起祈禱,如果誰家裡發生事情,像是生病、死亡,我們也會去他家一起祈禱。可是,現在的年輕人都不去教會了,沒有辦法啦!神父編的阿美語聖經和彌撒本,很多阿美族年輕人都看不懂了。

信仰對您的意義是什麼?

生活中的困難很多,有時我想到不愉快的事情,就依靠天主。我的小孩每天去上班,我也都為她們祈禱。我的家這麼好,就是因為依靠天主。有一陣子家裡遇到事情,我每天回家都哭,後來總算慢慢度過了,就是依靠天主,天天祈禱。

【三】
陳渝雯(21歲,輔大經濟系,曾任全國天主教大專同學會會長)
畢業後,我可能不會像以前那樣的投入教會。
我開始思考:到底信仰在我的生活中應該定位在哪裡?

您是如何成為天主教徒?

大專聯考放榜前的暑假,好友邀我去萬大路的玫瑰堂。在那裡,有位輔大的姐姐邀我們參與苗栗南庄的原住民服務,我們就去了。那次的經驗非常特別,我第一次發現我可以跟小朋友對話,可以帶領小組。
很巧的是,我後來真的考上輔大經濟系,但我常覺得跟系上同學有種疏離感。雖然有朋友,但是沒有非常契合的人,總覺得彼此的價值觀不太一樣。後來,學長姐安排我跟陳宗舜神父聽道理,到了大二,我就領洗了。
其實,我在領洗前也考慮了很多,比如說,我爸媽都不是教友,他們能否接受?領洗會不會只是一時的熱忱?那時候心裡有一點擔心。但是,玫瑰堂的神父、修女們告訴我,假如有任何問題,都可以去找他們,他們給我一種很安心的感覺。

請分享您參與天主教大專同學會的經驗。

參與大專同學會,使我得以擁有許多成長和學習的機會,我也希望這個團體帶給更多學弟妹同樣的美好感覺,因此,我後來接任輔大分會的副總幹事。後來,我也參加了陶成營,認識了許多其他學校的同學,也擔任北區區會的幹部。在隔年的全國大會上,當時的會長邀請我參選下一屆會長,我答應了。當選總會會長的那一年,我是三年級。
擔任會長的那一年,有好的經驗,也有不太好的經驗。其實在當選會長之前,我覺得自己的個性似乎缺乏領導的魄力或是清晰的思維。可是當我進入之後,發現團體的包容度很大,我可以用自己的方法來做事。但是,我有時還是會覺得自己做得不夠好,會否定自己,覺得我並不是那麼適合領導別人,開會時,常會有人不能來…總之,我感受到一些挫折。

您如何看待這些負面經驗?

或許我曾經遇到一些不好的人或事,但我告訴自己,我應該要用信仰的角度去看待。這些事情,其實不只是在教會裡發生,而是有「人」的地方都會發生。參與同學會,讓我看到了自己的價值和能力,這是我過去的成長經驗裡面所沒有的。
現在,我快要畢業了,也很少參加同學會的活動。當年跟我一起參加同學會的人,也比較少聯絡了。畢業後,我還是會參加彌撒,但很可能已經沒有機會像以前那樣的投入。於是我開始思考:到底信仰在我的生活中應該要定位在哪裡?信仰和生活要如何去連結?或許我需要常常去「充電」吧!

【四】
阿厚(34歲,嘉義人,非教友)
我覺得天主教很好,
但如果當初不是由國民黨帶過來的,就更好了!

請談談您對天主教的印象?

我是嘉義人。小時候,我們村裡沒有教堂,我對天主教也沒什麼印象。十二歲那年,我媽媽聽別人說教會辦的學校很好,而且不會打學生,就把我送去天主教中學就讀。但她錯了,因為我數學太爛,偏偏數學老師會打人。那時,我們全班只有一個教友,她的爸爸是山東人,而學校的修女都是外省人,所以我一直有一種印象:天主教徒都是外省人。
那時學校有安排宗教課,有一位修女在上課時告訴我們:天上的星星都是天主造的,這就是為什麼它們不會撞在一起。那時,我覺得她根本是在胡扯,因為我是從小讀百科全書長大的,她沒有辦法說服我。反而當我比較老了以後,開始覺得當時修女講的也有其道理…

您是如何開始讀聖經的?

大學時期,因為想把英文學好,就開始讀英文聖經。那時的感覺是:它實在太特別了!例如在新約福音中,耶穌到稅吏匝凱的家的那一段(《聖經‧路加福音》第十九章1-10節),講得實在是太好了!總之,福音中的很多章節都很有「煽動性」,不是街頭運動的那種煽動性,而是煽動到內心。更重要的是,它一直對當權者、有權力的人提出質疑,這是與同時期中國著作的最大差別。
在今天來看,福音還是很有意義。因為在台灣的某些關鍵時刻,天主教會也沒有站出來質疑當權者啊!比方說台灣在一九七一年退出聯合國,長老教會就出來發表了一份「對國是的聲明與建議」,天主教會卻是一片安靜,靜得像石頭一樣。當然,天主教做了很多社會、文化工作,創辦了很多醫院、慈善機構等等,但是這種社會工作和我說的那種又不太一樣,兩種都很重要。

您是否曾考慮領洗?

我曾經考慮過領洗,因為天主教的道理很吸引我,另外我也看到一些神父和修女為勞工、原住民等弱勢群體服務,使我覺得天主教真的很好。很多外籍神父到原住民部落去傳教,花很多時間學習當地的語言,我也很敬佩他們。例如在大學時代,有一位外國神父曾用台語問我:你覺得在台灣應該說台語還是國語?我回答:「國語,因為統一的語言比較好溝通。」他沈默了一下,又問我:「可是,如果台語不能在台灣說,那應該在哪裡說?難道是美國嗎?」當時,他的話給了我很大的震撼。
但是,我後來參與彌撒、教會活動的經驗,又使我覺得天主教好沉悶,好像什麼都很老,又好像什麼都不想做。更重要的是,我總覺得那裡的人都跟我不同,包括語言、文化背景都不一樣,總覺得格格不入。考慮之下,還是打消了領洗的念頭。總之,我覺得天主教很好,但如果不是由國民黨帶過來的就更好了。


 

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